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friedrichstein palace

ma10377.jpgAußenansicht Schloss Friedrichstein, Foto: MHK, Arno Hensmanns

Visible for kilometres around, the bright yellow walls of Friedrichstein are one of the landmarks of the townscape of Bad Wildungen.

The palace's chequered history can be traced back to the 12th century. Originally a Gothic-era castle, in the mid-17th century the medieval structure was rebuilt by Count Josias II von Waldeck (1636–1669) as a stately Baroque palace. The building was still unfinished at the time Josias died in battle against the Ottomans. It was left to the late Count's nephew, Friedrich Anton Ulrich (1676–1728), to complete the old castle's conversion into today's three-wing structure and to give it its current name of »Friedrichstein«.

After the princely family's relocation to their newly built residential  palace at Bad Arolson early in the 18th century, most of the furniture and fittings of Friedrichstein were lost over the years. However, the magnificent stucco created  by Andreas Gallasini and the ceilings painted by Carlo Caselli still grace the rooms today. After WWI, the palace became the property of the then-independent Free State of Waldeck, and during WWII it was converted into a NSDAP training facility before finally passing into the ownership of the State of Hesse. After a thorough restoration and overhaul, the palace houses the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel's large Hunting and Military History Collection.